Not to get overly excited whilst writing a blog or anything, but I had a wonderful time on Sunday doing something I’ve never done before and will never get to do again in this lifetime. Nope, I didn’t go hang gliding in the Andes. No, I didn’t pilot a kayak through whitewater rapids or win the lottery either. This was something far more ordinary; it just wasn’t ordinary for me. Not to give away my age or anything, but I am delighted to report that I went to a baby shower for my soon-to-be first grandchild.
I am thrilled!!! I am also prepared. I know, I know, you can never be truly prepared for anything, but I pretty much know a zillion ways to entertain, delight, excite, amaze, inform, tempt, and thoroughly enjoy just about any kid on the planet, and especially this one. Besides, not to brag or anything, but I already have all the books.
So now I will segue into something I did on Monday morning. I went to a most excellent lecture about the long history of human evolution. It was presented by Dr. Alison S. Brooks, a Harvard graduate who’s the highly acclaimed head of the anthropology department at George Washington University. You name it; Brooks has been just about everywhere digging up fossils and leading research projects in places like Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Sweden, France, China, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and Kenya. I learned, among many other things, that adolescence and menopause are unique to humans and that we are marathoners adapted to running for longer periods of time than any other mammal in order to capture game. (We can run like this because we dissipate heat better than any other mammal too; we have the most sweat glands, and besides, we are the naked ape with no fur.)
So what does all of that have to do with my grandchild? Surely I’m thinking way too hard about things that range from the sublime to the ridiculous, but both the baby shower and the lecture made me think about where humankind has been so far and where it’s going next. What does the future hold for my grandchild and succeeding generations on this ever-changing planet? How will we marathon runners adapt or even survive if there are, say, too many dead bodies of water filled with oil or too many volcanoes interrupting airplanes and satellite communication? Can the nonfiction writers among us help inspire future generations to Save the Earth they will inhabit? And where will my son and daughter in-law put all those amazing presents? I can’t wait to meet this baby, whoever it is!!